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Second Acts: Creating the Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire Paperback – December 23, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
After spending decades on Wall Street, Pollan, at age 48, became ill and was forced to re-create his professional life. Now he's working as an author (of more than a dozen financial and self-help books) and life coach, helping others to follow their dreams and stage their lives' "second act." In this volume, Pollan and Levine offer tales of individuals of all ages who realized that something was missing from their professional or personal lives and decided to make major changes. Referring back to those real stories, the authors provide a guide to understanding dreams, translating dreams to life goals and overcoming the obstacles to making those goals into realities. Pollan believes that for some, it's enough to rediscover the joys inherent in a current career; for others, it means more drastic decisions. Peppered with inspirational accounts of "famous second acts" (including J.K. Rowling, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Foreman and former junk bond king Michael Milken), this book offers useful exercises and helpful advice about changes that range from tweaks to overhauls.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Second Acts teaches how to achieve what others think or say is impossible.” (Christopher Reeve)
“Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine show us that it’s never too late to stage a heckuva comeback!” (Al Roker)
“Your life need not be the same. You can have a second act, Pollan shows you how.” (Joan Lunden)
“Pollan’s encouragement helped me convert my own fear and uncertainty into optimism and enthusiasm for continued personal growth.” (Michael J. Fox)
For anyone looking for motivation, encouragement and help in creating dynamic life changes, this book is a must read. (Keith Harrell, Life Coach/Author of Attitude is Everything)
“Equal parts inspiration and explanation, Second Acts is a road map for the journey to a better life” (David Nivin, author of The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People)
SECOND ACTS captures the changed career paths many of us will have; and shares the strategies needed to do it. (Susan RoAne, author of How to Work a Room)
Making your life significant during the Second Act can really make a difference for you and the lives of others. (Ken Blanchard, coauthor, The One Minute Manager)
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Top Customer Reviews
Second Acts is the best resource I've found to sort through how I create the career and life I want in uncertain times. What's best about the book is that the steps outlined by Pollan and Levine are concrete and helpful--a rarity with this kind of book, and I feel like I can really learn from the examples they've taken from other peoples lives. Already, the book has helped me to create a plan to take actions that will help me make changes in my professional life that will enable me to lead the life I want.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book!
Of course, what would a self-help book be if it didn't have any number of exercises that must be followed to find a second career. First of all, one is to write about their dream: passions, strengths and weaknesses, interests, needs, and the specific dream. And then there are the typical obstacles of which one must be cognizant: age, money, duration, consent, location, physical condition, education and training, timing, esteem, fear of failure, fear of success, and fatalism. There is a subtle message here that failure to launch a second career may be due to your failure to overcome these obstacles - like they are not really obstacles after all.Read more ›
The best part of this book is the section on deciding what you want to do with your life. Pollan's exercises are original and would, I believe, help many people to discover their own next step. For instance, Pollan urges readers to review activities that they love -- and also places that draw forth a passionate response. His question, "What need does this passion address?" is extremely helpful and, unfortunately, rarely asked.
Implementation sections are helpful but I would encourage readers to seek supplementary guidance. Pollan suggests that a degree from University of Phoenix may be as helpful, in some cases, as a degree from Harvard. I encourage my own clients to talk to alumni from any school. Some doors will be closed to Phoenix alums, including some adjunct teaching options. On the other hand, a fifty-plus career changer who wants to set up shop as a counselor would do as well with a degree from the fastest, lowest-cost school whose courses are recognized by the state in question.
Still, I would be careful. I have heard first-account accounts of degree programs losing acceptability by accrediting bodies.
Pollan urges readers to omit dates from a resume. If you're using a back-door method to get a job (as you should!) that strategy will work. However, if your resume goes through a human resource department, it will most likely get tossed or you will be asked to submit traditional resume with dates.
Finally, I was disturbed by the grammar errors distributed lavishly through the text.Read more ›
While Pollan's method for identifying what you want isn't unique to him, he gives it some interesting twists, such as asking not only "What do I want?" but "How will I know when I have it?", which forces you to be very specific! His chapters on "opening closed doors" were, I felt, very uneven: some were genuinely helpful (the money chapter), while others (such as the "education and training" chapter) seemed glib and superficial.
I was favorably impressed that he didn't focus solely on career changes: one of his examples is a woman who loves her career but misses having a family, so the solution is not for her to change careers but to adopt a child. I like his attitude: he focuses on the present and the future, on what you can do NOW to achieve what you want; this is a real upper for those of us who tend to get bogged down in "I've wasted my life" and "It's too late to change"! He also points out that much of one's work experience -- learning how to negotiate, get along with people, or manage a project -- is transferable to another field, so changing careers doesn't mean starting completely from scratch.
On the other hand, as other readers have pointed out, he recounts far too many examples of people who were successful in one career before changing to another. Many people DON'T succeed because they're in the wrong job; but, once they find a career that better suits their interests, abilities, and values, they prosper. It happened to me, and I know I'm not unique, so I think the book would have been more convincing if it included more examples of this type.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brand New Condition full of information and a book that should be read.Published 18 months ago by Gilbert Lenchus
For anyone who is looking to change their career, this is a very useful book. It will take time to complete all the exercises, though!Published on July 1, 2013 by Daria
This is another great book by Stephen Pollan. I've been a fan of his ever since I read "Fire Your Boss" (my career bible). Read morePublished on August 12, 2012 by A Reader
Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine have written a book "Second Acts" that lets you know that Second Choices are available. Read morePublished on February 29, 2008 by Stuart Gustafson
It is obvious that the author lives on positive energy. This text motivated and inspired me every time I flipped the page. Read morePublished on July 10, 2007 by Lawrence Slobodzian
There are many books on life planning. There are many books on reinventing a life. I keep coming back to this one as a gold standard among the many instruction manuals out there. Read morePublished on July 27, 2006 by Susan R. Meyer
Better read this book. Whether you are leaving a job to go to another one or thinking about hanging it all up, you ought to spend $10 and get this book. Read morePublished on June 1, 2006 by J. Murphy
This book is fantastic. It is valuable to anyone who works, even if you are not considering a second act it give you something to think about and some hard questions to ask... Read morePublished on December 15, 2003 by Mimi Steel